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Chris Barrett DL 6í5 265 USC

By: Robert Davis

Chris Barrett was one of USCís biggest coups in the recruiting class of 2003. He came to USC with big expectations, but never quite lived up to the hype or his potential. Barrett dislocated his left shoulder early in his freshman season, and ended up redshirting because of it. A year later he dislocated his right shoulder. During the 2005 season, he finally started to see action but a torn calf muscle ended his season. The 2006 season was finally a chance for Barrett to make an impact on the defensive line. He started five games and had 15 tackles, two for loss, and a sack but a strained calf limited his effectiveness in the other games and caused him to come off the bench as a reserve. His senior season was over before it started, when he was not able to get the grades needed to play his final season.

Baker is a true physical specimen. He is an excellent athlete, with very good quickness. He comes off the ball quickly, has excellent lateral agility and can change direction and beat interior lineman to get into the backfield. He can be a very disruptive force inside at defensive tackle. His athleticism would also allow him to play defensive end, and he has even spent time at tight end during his time at USC. He has settled in on the defensive line with most of his impact coming as a tackle, but he may be able to play end in the NFL.

Obviously, durability is a huge issue with Barrett. He has had nagging shoulder and calf injuries during his career. He has not been able to stay healthy in college despite not playing much, so itís a huge question in regards to his ability to stay healthy in the NFL. He is also a tweener, having played better at DT but his body projecting more to DE. He will need to get stronger to play either position.

Barrett is a real sleeper in the draft, or more likely as a priority free agent. He has the raw athletic ability to develop in the NFL, and that will make some teams give him extra looks. Everyone is always trying to find a diamond in the rough, and Barrett has the talent to become one.

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